Solar Tubes

TobyTSeptember 17, 2009

We are ready to install a solar tube in our kitchen and suddenly I am hearing bad things about about the colour of the light that they produce. Apparently it is very blue and muddies up all other colours in the room. I understand that warm light filers are available. Anyone care to comment?

Thanks for your time.

PS We are looking at the Velux and ODL brands.

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We installed a solar tube in the kitchen when we remodeled the old house. It was wonderful! Everyone who walked in thought we had a light on. It wasn't the least bit blue or muddied in my opinion. As a matter of fact, we liked it so much we had one installed in the new build. We are in the process of finishing up and moving in and we love the new one even more than the old one. This one has a straighter shot from rooftop to ceiling - the old one twisted through the attic. The light is lovely, bright and has a soft glow. Couldn't be happier. I believe we have the Velux.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 1:41PM
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We currently have 3 solatubes in our house - soon to be 6 (adding three to the remodeled kitchen/nook area)

I guess you could say that AT TIMES the bright light has a tiny bit of a blue hue, but I think it is really more of a very white light which looks 'cooler' than most light in interior spaces.

Solatube has come out with a yellow filter on the lense (the part that you see in the ceiling) that changes the light to a color more like incandescent light. If you are worried about too white of a light, go with this option for the lense.

Solatube also has filters that soften the edge of the light.

Our current three solatubes are plain lenses - no filtering for color or softening the edges. The first picture below is of a 16" solatube in our upstairs hallway - tube is on northside of peak of roof. I took several photos to get the color as accurate as possible. If anything, the light from the solatube was just a touch more yellow than shown. It was a sunny day today in Western Washington (state), so the light was very bright. It is still pretty bright on cloudy days as well. On clear nights with a full moon, the lense has a very soft and subdued moon glow.

The bottom picture is of a smaller (10") solatube in the kids' bathroom - on the north side of the house, with one teeny window. In other words, without the solatube or other light, that room is a cave. You can kind of get an idea how dark it would be by referring to the top picture - look at the dark shadows on the door of the bedroom (with the 'Y' on the door) to the left of the hallway solatube - that room also faces north, has a giant window, but a solatube brings in tons more light.

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We ARE going to use the yellow/incandescent lense filter for the three new solatubes - the kitchen/nook area faces north - and the roof for these solatubes is shaded by the 2nd story, and I'll have SS appliances in the kitchen (could be cold looking), so I figured I'd give the yellow filtered lense a try. If it is ugly, or cuts down on the light too much, we'll switch to the plain lenses.

One other plus about tubular skylights - they let in a LOT Of light without the associated heat. We have one conventional skylight (in a bathroom) and on hot days that room gets pretty toasty.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2009 at 11:25PM
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